Bill Bennett Interview

GLENN BECK PROGRAM


BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

GLENN: Now, Bill Bennett is on the phone with me and, Bill, I just wanted to tell you something I don't think I've ever told you. You changed my life and I don't -- I am not exaggerating by that. You actually changed my life.

BENNETT: Really?

GLENN: I read the Book of Virtues when my kids were little and I was so taken by it, I read it myself without the kids. And in there is a letter from Thomas Jefferson to Peter Carr. You know that one?

BENNETT: Yeah, sure.

  America: The Last Best Hope


by William J. Bennett

GLENN: And I am a recovering alcoholic and I had just sobered up and I had just decided that I was -- I didn't really believe in anything that I hadn't been told. I didn't discover anything. Here I am 30 something years old. I didn't know any -- I didn't know what truth was because I had never really searched for it. And I'm reading this in your book, "Book of Virtues" and the line is one of the only things that I had ever tried to memorize, it just made such an impact on me is above all things, when it comes to religion, fix reason firmly in her seat for if there be a God he must surely rather honest questions over blindfolded fear.

BENNETT: Yeah.

GLENN: And that changed the course of my life.

BENNETT: Wow.

GLENN: I want to thank you, sir.

BENNETT: Well, I'm on talk radio now. I'm not supposed to be speechless, but I am. Thank you, Glenn. Did you get my note?

GLENN: I didn't get your note.

BENNETT: Well, you get so much mail, gosh knows. I used a regular, you know, handwritten note, not an iPod, not an email. Someone told me, and, you know, may not be true but someone told me that you said on the radio that on very special occasions in people's lives, you send them the "Book of Virtues."

GLENN: I do. Whenever there's a birth of a friend or anybody, that is a guaranteed gift that they get.

BENNETT: All right, somebody needs a lift and a laugh, I'm going to send them "An Inconvenient Book."

GLENN: Hey, suicidal, have you read this?

BENNETT: No, but the thing about it, though, I am interested in the paragraph by paragraph business with Al Gore.

GLENN: Oh, it's -- you know, it only took about 19 pages to take him apart and he's been eviscerated. It's not a tough job but I was glad to do it.

BENNETT: Maybe you should send it to the White House since Mr. Gore's going.

GLENN: Yes, right. I want to talk to you about an idea that I had, and I know you have a book out called America, The Last Best Hope and it is Volume 2. It's the history of the 20th century.

BENNETT: What it is, Glenn, let me explain it. It's volumes 1 and 2. They are out in a box set with a CD that we did called Remembering Ronald Reagan. I put the books out separately first but Volume 2 came out the day of the Blacksburg shooting and so it was, you know, it was another casualty of that day, a surely less important casualty than the others. So we're trying to make a push on the two volumes now because we got no attention then for understandable reasons. It is a two volume -- it's a history of the United States, it's to correct, you know, what our kids don't know and it's to make it readable and interesting. I can't say it's funny but I do think it's a good -- it's well told.

GLENN: I have to tell you I can't wait to read it. I haven't read it yet but I can't wait to read it for a couple of reasons. Have you seen The History of the English Speaking Peoples 1900 to 2000?

BENNETT: Yes, I have.

GLENN: That is the most shocking, politically incorrect book I have -- 

BENNETT: Yeah.

GLENN: It is worth the price of the book for the last paragraph alone that says if -- and I'm paraphrasing. I'm butchering it horribly, but someday when the power of these people is gone, the world will weep when they realized what they have lost.

BENNETT: Yeah.

GLENN: And I just can't believe it and I would assume that you have written our history in the same way, that it is pro us.

BENNETT: It's definitely pro us in this way. I quote Moynihan in the beginning. I quote a Democrat, Pat Moynihan saying, you know, am I embarrassed to speak for a less and perfect democracy; I am not; find me a better one. Have we done terrible things? Yes, we have. How did our people find out about them? They found out about them by reading the newspaper and listening. But we have done so immeasurably many more good things that we are still indeed the last best hope of Earth. I say it's the second greatest story ever told, the best political story ever told.

GLENN: Bill, I am -- are you familiar with Skousen?

BENNETT: Skousen, yeah, sure. Not for a while but yes. Cleon Skousen.

GLENN: Yeah, Cleon Skousen, he's been dead for a while but just fantastic. There's a book out, I know it was -- I think it was popular with Reagan, the 5,000 Year Leap, at least there's a quote on the back of the book.

BENNETT: Yes.

GLENN: But he's fantastic. I read, I went back because I'm so concerned about how our country has just gone out of the tracks. We're not even -- we don't even recognize what we are anymore. And I went back and I read "The Naked Communist" and at the end of that, Skousen -- that was a book that was written in 1956. They end of that Skousen says everybody, if you really want to combat this, every person must have a freedom library. And what it is is a collection of books that tells the truth of who we really are.

BENNETT: Yeah.

GLENN: Because he predicted in the Fifties, someday soon you won't be able to find the truth in schools or in libraries or anywhere else because it won't be print and more. So you must collect those books. Can you hold on for a second?

BENNETT: Of course.

GLENN: I need to take a break and then I'd like to pick your brain of what you think those books should be, where do you even start.

BENNETT: Sure, I will.

GLENN: We'll do that here in just a second.

William Bennett, the name of his book is America, The Last Best Hope, Volume 1 and 2. Back with him in just a second.

(OUT 9:42)

VOICE: Less than 6% of the countries in the world have acceptable laws stopping child pornography. More than half have no child porn laws whatsoever. The incredible world of child predators exposed on Page 1876 of "An Inconvenient Book" by Glenn Beck available now at bookstores everywhere.

GLENN: Came out today. I'm talking to William Bennett about a freedom library. It's an idea of read from Cleon Skousen from his book in the 1950s, "The Naked Communist" and where he talked about someday the history of this country's going to be lost because it's going to be hijacked by intellectuals and communists and everything else and I think we're there. A friend of mine told me that they had a test come back, I believe for their second grader, and, Bill, it said how many Thanksgivings are there in America. Do you know what the answer is?

BENNETT: No.

GLENN: Two. There was one with the pilgrims and then there was another one, and I've got to book this one up. There's another one where Mexico won a big battle and they give thanks like the 1st of April or, you know, the first couple of weeks of April.

BENNETT: Missed it. I'll check.

GLENN: I didn't hear that.

BENNETT: Well, it's our worst subject. American history is our worst subject and I used to report on these numbers when I was secretary of Ed, history and math. But we're worst in American history and that's a shame.

GLENN: Where would you start on a freedom library to be able to make sure -- that's why I love the "Book of Virtues" so much. You have the, you know, "I cannot tell a lie, I did chop down the cherry tree" and I don't even know where I learned that, but I know I learned it as a kid and I wonder what kids are learning that now. I bet they're not.

BENNETT: No, they're not. They're learning other stuff but, you know, I'm in favor of knowledge. I don't care. You know, it's fine to learn about this Mexican day but let's get the other stuff in there, too, and let's get the ones that are so formative. I'll give you the simple freedom library. You know, you look at the great figures. Often there's just one or two books. They said Lincoln. You know this, Glenn, Lincoln, it was Shakespeare and the Bible. That's all he needed. My American reader, if you only had two, say you restricted me to two books, the Federalist Papers and Huckleberry Finn.

GLENN: You know, it's so funny that you said that because I've been thinking Mark Twain and I couldn't think of anything other than Huck Finn because it shows a slice of who we really are.

BENNETT: Yeah, it is. And it's not -- you know, it's not just back to the raft, phone, and the race issue. This idea, and you know, you and I grew up differently, different backgrounds but it is the quintessential American idea. Every boy thinks at some point about getting on that raft, you know, and going down the Mississippi, you know, finding your way, you know. And so it is the quintessential American story.

When I had my first job in government, Glenn, I asked 100 famous Americans, 50 liberal, 50 conservative, what are the five books everybody should read by the time they finish high school, and that was one of them. Believe it or not, that was one of the top five and there's a reason, you know, that book is there.

GLENN: You know, in your history Books of America, Volume 1, Volume 2, "America, the Last Best Hope," you said that America has -- this is just in the introduction, America has a knack for choosing the right leaders when the nation most needs them.

BENNETT: Yeah.

GLENN: I have to tell you, I don't think we've needed a leader this badly in quite some time and I have yet -- everybody claims they're Ronald Reagan. I have yet to see a Ronald Reagan or a Winston Churchill anywhere on the planet today.

BENNETT: Right. But remember, Ronald Reagan was not Ronald Reagan before he took office. Remember the worries about him? Go back and read what some of our dearest conservative friends were writing about Reagan, things he had done, the taxes in California, signing the abortion bill, all sorts of things. You know, Shakespeare says some are born great, some achieve greatness and have greatness thrust upon them and I think with Reagan it was a combination. The times partly made him.

GLENN: Do you believe that -- do you still believe America will choose the right leader for our times?

BENNETT: It will when it has to. My guess is with you, Glenn. I think this is the time for, if for nothing else more than what you're talking about on your show. I don't get to hear the radio show so often, but I see the TV show. The moral clarity, which I think is what you're after, and that is really what we're after. I just saw your show yesterday, you know, talking about the immigration issues, talking about the other issues. Just to see the world the way it is.

GLENN: Yeah. Just tell the truth.

BENNETT: Yeah.

GLENN: That's it.

BENNETT: Tell the truth.

GLENN: Yeah. Do you have a candidate? Do you have somebody that you think, this probably is my guy?

BENNETT: Nope, not yet. I probably wouldn't say so if I do. I like the Republicans. I think there's something to be said and something to be said against each of the frontrunners.

GLENN: Yeah, I agree. I don't know of a time when we've had this depth of choice.

BENNETT: It's great, yeah. I could see each of these guys, the top four or five, you know, emerging as a great leader, too.

GLENN: Bill Bennett, thank you so much, man. I appreciate it and really, I mean it sincerely. You did change my life just because you had the courage to tell the history of America accurately and I appreciate it.

BENNETT: Well, thank you. You almost changed mine when I started in radio. You said, do you think you're going to be able to do this? I said I don't know. So I almost changed my mind.

GLENN: Well, there you go.

BENNETT: Thanks, Glenn.

GLENN: You bet. Thanks. Bill Bennett.

END TRANSCRIPT

Rapper Kendrick Lamar brings white fan onstage to sing with him, but here’s the catch

Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for American Express

Rapper Kendrick Lamar asked a fan to come onstage and sing with him, only to condemn her when she failed to censor all of the song's frequent mentions of the “n-word" while singing along.

RELATED: You'll Never Guess Who Wrote the Racist Message Targeting Black Air Force Cadets

“I am so sorry," she apologized when Lamar pointed out that she needed to “bleep" that word. “I'm used to singing it like you wrote it." She was booed at by the crowd of people, many screaming “f*** you" after her mistake.

On Tuesday's show, Pat and Jeffy watched the clip and talked about some of the Twitter reactions.

“This is ridiculous," Pat said. “The situation with this word has become so ludicrous."

What happened?

MSNBC's Katy Tur didn't bother to hide her pro-gun control bias in an interview with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in the wake of the Santa Fe High School killings.

RELATED: Media Are Pushing Inflated '18 School Shootings' Statistic. Here Are the Facts.

What did she ask?

As Pat pointed out while sitting in for Glenn on today's show, Tur tried to “badger" Paxton into vowing that he would push for a magical fix that will make schools “100 percent safe." She found it “just wild" that the Texas attorney general couldn't promise that schools will ever be completely, totally safe.

“Can you promise kids in Texas today that they're safe to go to school?" Tur pressured Paxton.

“I don't think there's any way to say that we're ever 100 percent safe," the attorney general responded.

What solutions did the AG offer?

“We've got a long way to go," Paxton said. He listed potential solutions to improve school safety, including installing security officers and training administrators and teachers to carry a gun.

Pat's take:

“Unbelievable," Pat said on today's show. “Nobody can promise [100 percent safety]."

Every president from George Washington to Donald Trump has issued at least one executive order (with the exception of William Harrison who died just 31 days into his presidency) and yet the U.S. Constitution doesn't even mention executive orders. So how did the use of this legislative loophole become such an accepted part of the job? Well, we can thank Franklin Roosevelt for that.

Back at the chalkboard, Glenn Beck broke down the progression of the executive order over the years and discussed which US Presidents have been the “worst offenders."

RELATED: POWER GRAB: Here's how US presidents use 'moments of crisis' to override Constitutional law

“It's hard to judge our worst presidential overreachers on sheer numbers alone," said Glenn. “However, it's not a shock that FDR issued by far the most of any president."

Our first 15 presidents issued a combined total of 143. By comparison, Franklin D. Roosevelt issued 3721, more than twice the next runner up, Woodrow Wilson, at 1803.

“Next to FDR, no other president in our history attempted to reshape so much of American life by decree, until we get to this guy: President Obama," Glenn explained. “He didn't issue 3000, or even 1800; he did 276 executive orders, but it was the power of those orders. He instituted 560 major regulations classified by the Congressional Budget Office as having 'significant economic or social impacts.' That's 50 percent more regulations than George W. Bush's presidency — and remember, everybody thought he was a fascist."

President Obama blamed an obstructionist Congress for forcing him to bypass the legislative process. By executive order, President Obama decreed the U.S. join the Paris Climate Accord, DACA, the Clean Power Plan and transgender restrooms. He also authorized spying in US citizens through section 702 of FISA, used the IRS to target political opponents and ordered military action in Libya without Congressional permission.

All of these changes were accepted by the very people who now condemn President Trump for his use of executive orders — many of which were issued to annul President Obama's executive orders, just as President Obama annulled President Bush's executive orders when he took office … and therein lies the rub with executive orders.

“That's not the way it's supposed to work, nor would we ever want it to be," said Glenn. “We have to have the Constitution and laws need to originate in Congress."

Watch the video above to find out more.

Six months ago, I alerted readers to the very attractive benefits that the TreasuryDirect program offers to investors who are defensively sitting on cash right now.

Since then, those benefits have continued to improve. Substantially.

Back in November, by holding extremely conservative short-term (i.e., 6-months or less) Treasury bills, TreasuryDirect participants were receiving over 16x more in interest payments vs keeping their cash in a standard bank savings account.

Today, they're now receiving over 30 times more. Without having to worry about the risk of a bank "bail-in" or failure.

So if you're holding cash right now and NOT participating in the TreasuryDirect program, do yourself a favor and read on. If you're going to pass on this opportunity, at least make it an 'eyes-wide-open' decision.

Holding Cash (In Treasurys) Now Beats The Market

There are many prudent reasons to hold cash in today's dangerously overvalued financial markets, as we've frequently touted here at PeakProsperity.com.

Well, there's now one more good reason to add to the list: holding cash in short-term Treasurys is now meeting/beating the dividend returns offered by the stock market:

"Cash Is King" Again - 3-Month Bills Yield More Than Stocks (Zero Hedge)
'Reaching for yield' just got a lot easier...
For the first time since February 2008, three-month Treasury bills now have a yield advantage over the S&P; 500 dividend yield (and dramatically lower risk).
Investors can earn a guaranteed 1.90% by holding the 3-month bills or a risky 1.89% holding the S&P; 500...

The longest period of financial repression in history is coming to an end...

And it would appear TINA is dead as there is now an alternative.

And when you look at the total return (dividends + appreciation) of the market since the start of 2018, stocks have returned only marginally better than 3-month Treasurys. Plus, those scant few extra S&P; points have come with a LOT more risk.

Why take it under such dangerously overvalued conditions?

If You Can't Beat 'Em, Join 'Em

In my June report Less Than Zero: How The Fed Killed Saving, I explained how the Federal Reserve's policy of holding interest rates at record lows has decimated savers. Those who simply want to park money somewhere "safe" can't do so without losing money in real terms.

To drive this point home: back in November, the average interest rate being offered in a US bank savings account was an insutling 0.06%. Six months later, nothing has changed:

(Source

That's virtually the same as getting paid 0%. But it's actually worse than that, because once you take inflation into account, the real return on your savings is markedly negative.

And to really get your blood boiling, note that the Federal Reserve has rasied the federal funds rate it pays banks from 1.16% in November to 1.69% in April. Banks are now making nearly 50% more money on the excess reserves they park at the Fed -- but are they passing any of that free profit along to their depositors? No....

This is why knowing about the TreasuryDirect program is so important. It's a way for individual investors savvy enough to understand the game being played to bend some of its rules to their favor and limit the damage they suffer.

Below is an updated version (using today's rates) of my recap of TreasuryDirect, which enables you to get over 30x more interest on your cash savings than your bank will pay you, with lower risk.

TreasuryDirect

For those not already familiar with it, TreasuryDirect is a service offered by the United States Department of the Treasury that allows individual investors to purchase Treasury securities such as T-Bills, notes and bonds directly from the U.S. government.

You purchase these Treasury securities by linking a TreasuryDirect account to your personal bank account. Once linked, you use your cash savings to purchase T-bills, etc from the US Treasury. When the Treasury securities you've purchased mature or are sold, the proceeds are deposited back into your bank account.

So why buy Treasuries rather than keep your cash savings in a bank? Two main reasons:

  • Much higher return: T-Bills are currently offering an annualized return rate between 1.66-2.04%. Notes and bonds, depending on their duration, are currently offering between 2.6% - 3.1%
  • Extremely low risk: Your bank can change the interest rate on your savings account at any time -- with Treasury bills, your rate of return is locked in at purchase. Funds in a bank are subject to risks such as a bank bail-in or the insolvency of the FDIC depositor protection program -- while at TreasuryDirect, your funds are being held with the US Treasury, the institution with the lowest default risk in the country for reasons I'll explain more in a moment.

Let's look at a quick example. If you parked $100,000 in the average bank savings account for a full year, you would earn $60 in interest. Let's compare this to the current lowest-yielding TreasuryDirect option: continuously rolling that same $100,000 into 4-week T-Bills for a year:

  1. Day 1: Funds are transferred from your bank account to TreasuryDirect to purchase $100,000 face value of 4-week T-Bills at auction yielding 1.68%
  2. Day 28: the T-Bills mature and the Treasury holds the full $100,000 proceeds in your TreasuryDirect account. Since you've set up the auto-reinvestment option, TreasuryDirect then purchases another $100,000 face value of 4-week T-Bills at the next auction.
  3. Days 29-364: the process repeats every 4 weeks
  4. Day 365: assuming the average yield for T-Bills remained at 1.68%, you will have received $1,680 in interest in total throughout the year from the US Treasury.

$1,680 vs $60. That's a 27x difference in return.

And the comparison only improves if you decide to purchase longer duration (13-week or 26-week) bills instead of the 4-week ones:

Repeating the above example for a year using 13-week bills would yield $1,925. Using 26-week bills would yield $2,085. A lot better (34x better!) than $60.

Opportunity Cost & Default Risk

So what are the downsides to using TreasuryDirect? There aren't many.

The biggest one is opportunity cost. While your money is being held in a T-Bill, it's tied up at the US Treasury. If you suddenly need access to those funds, you have to wait until the bill matures.

But T-Bill durations are short. 4 weeks is not a lot of time to have to wait. (If you think the probability is high you may to need to pull money out of savings sooner than that, you shouldn't be considering the TreasuryDirect program.)

Other than that, TreasuryDirect offers an appealing reduction in risk.

If your bank suddenly closes due to a failure, any funds invested in TreasuryDirect are not in your bank account, so are not subject to being confiscated in a bail-in.

Instead, your money is held as a T-Bill, note or bond, which is essentially an obligation of the US Treasury to pay you in full for the face amount. The US Treasury is the single last entity in the country (and quite possibly, the world) that will ever default on its obligations. Why? Because Treasurys are the mechanism by which money is created in the US. Chapter 8 from The Crash Course explains:

As a result, to preserve its ability to print the money it needs to function, the US government will bring its full force and backing to bear in order to ensure confidence in the market for Treasurys.

Meaning: the US government won't squelch on paying you back the money you lent it. If required, it will just print the money it needs to repay you.

So, How To Get Started?

Usage of TreasuryDirect is quite low among investors today. Many are unaware of the program. Others simply haven't tried it out.

And let's be real: it's crazy that we live in a world where a 1.68-2.09% return now qualifies as an exceptionally high yield on savings. A lot of folks just can't get motivated to take action by rates that low. But that doesn't mean that they shouldn't -- money left on the table is money forfeited.

So, if you're interested in learning more about the TreasuryDirect program, start by visiting their website. Like everything operated by the government, it's pretty 'no frills'; but their FAQ page addresses investors' most common questions.

Before you decide whether or not to fund an account there, be sure to discuss the decision with your professional financial advisor to make sure it fits well with your personal financial situation and goals. (If you're having difficulty finding a good one, consider scheduling a free discussion with PeakProsperity.com's endorsed financial advisor -- who has considerable experience managing TreasuryDirect purchases for many of its clients).

In Part 2: A Primer On How To Use TreasuryDirect, we lay out the step-by-step process for opening, funding and transacting within a TreasuryDirect account. We've created it to be a helpful resource for those self-directed individuals potentially interested in increasing their return on their cash savings in this manner.

Yes, we savers are getting completely abused by our government's policies. So there's some poetic justice in using the government's own financing instruments to slightly lessen the sting of the whip.

Click here to read Part 2 of this report (free executive summary, enrollment required for full access)

NOTE: PeakProsperity.com does not have any business relationship with the TreasuryDirect program. Nor is anything in the article above to be taken as an offer of personal financial advice. As mentioned, discuss any decision to participate in TreasuryDirect with your professional financial advisor before taking action.